In the Sermon On The Mount, Christ instructed us to not practice our good works to be seen by others. If we seek glory or esteem from others, we are like a hypocrite, who in Bible times, was a stage player who acted under a mask impersonating a character (Matt. 6:1-5). Receiving a reward from God requires authenticity and transparency, not playacting where we please others.
The rest of Matthew 6 describes how to receive reward from God by living transparent and authentic lives that please God, not ourselves. It begins with our prayer life. There is a right and wrong way to pray. Here are the principles on how to pray correctly:
1. Direct our prayers to God alone (Matt. 6:6)
2. Use few words that express our purpose in prayer (Matt. 6:7)
3. Realize that God knows what we need before we ask Him (Matt. 6:8)
4. Nurture an intimate relationship with God as our Father (Matt. 6:9a)
5. Sanctify God's name by withdrawing from the world and pressing close to Him (Matt. 6:9b)
6. Ask that God's rule and will correspond to His wisdom and power in heaven (Matt. 6:10).
7. Pray for daily substance to sustain our lives (Matt. 6:11)
8. Pray for grace to forgive or release offenses and trespasses against us (Matt. 6:12).
9. Forbid temptation and ask for deliverance from danger or calamity (Matt. 6:13)
10. Abstain from food so we can pray with greater focus and intensity to God for greater reward (Matt. 6:16-18)
Christ's provides additional instructions in living transparent and authentic lives to please God, not ourselves. Lay up our treasure in heaven by serving God and not money (Matt. 6:19-24). As we seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, all our needs will be met (Matt. 6:25-34).
Review the above principles and implement one of them today.